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J Histochem Cytochem. 1996 Sep;44(9):1051-7.

Cellular and subcellular localization of acetaldehyde-protein adducts in liver biopsies from alcoholic patients.

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Laboratoire d'Anatomie Pathologique, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.


Acetaldehyde, the first product of ethanol in hepatocytes, can react with protein to form acetaldehyde-protein adducts (APAs). Because it has been suggested that these adducts could be involved in the pathogenesis of ethanol-induced hepatic lesions and in fibrogenesis, we performed an ultrastructural immunohistochemical study to precisely define the cellular and subcellular localization of APAs. A preembedding technique of indirect immunoperoxidase was performed in liver biopsy specimens from eight patients with alcoholic liver disease, using a specific antiserum against APAs. In all specimens, APAs were detected in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, in some peroxisomes, and in the cytosol of hepatocytes. In four patients with steatofibrosis or cirrhosis, labeling of Ito cells was also observed. In these cases, the same staining pattern was observed in the cytoplasmic processes of myofibroblasts in areas of fibrogenesis. When isolated rat Ito cells were incubated in the presence of acetaldehyde, APAs were also detected in the cytoplasm. These results show that APA formation occurs in hepatocytes at the sites of acetaldehyde production. Detection of APAs in human and rat Ito cells strongly suggests that acetaldehyde can diffuse into Ito cells and bind to cytoplasmic proteins to form local APAs. Because Ito cells are the main effector cells of liver fibrosis, detection of APAs in these cells points to their possible involvement in liver fibrogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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